About the Trust
The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust celebrates the 50th Anniversary with dedicated programmes, activities and events for students, teachers, birders, researchers, faith-based groups, volunteers, members and casual visitors.
The continuous support of our staff, from our corporate groups, organizations and individuals has enabled us to achieve most of our goals and objectives; we very much look forward to another productive and sustainable 50 years!
An integral part of the Trust is our Nature Guest House Petrea Place.
ACHIEVEMENTS: 50 Years of Environmental Sustainability.
The Trust is responsible for many FIRSTS in Trinidad & Tobago.
In 1977/78 we initiated the FIRST Environmental Education audio-visual programme in T & T and this was taken to schools in town and country, throughout both islands.
In 1981, the PaPWFT introduced Nature & Wildlife Photography to the public of T&T at Artcreators, Coblentz Avenue so that we could raise funds for our work at the Trust. It was totally new to the public and I am pleased to say it was a complete success!
In 1982, the Trust presented the First Environmental Education Curriculum for schools to the Minister of Education of the Government of the day.
In 1983, the Trust initiated a Hands-On Environmental Education programme for primary & secondary schools which include outdoor field work; pond-dips; leaf & feather labs. By doing this, we brought the written word to LIFE and for the first time in our country we also initiated a special hands-on programme for pre-schoolers. Not even the little ones were forgotten!
Again in 1983, another FIRST! The PAPWFT designed the first Sea Turtle Recovery Plan for Trinidad & Tobago; not only patrolling the beaches on foot & tagging, yearly from 1979, but also with the help of both the National Security Helicopter and a commercial helicopter service, we were able to carryout the first aerial surveys of nesting turtles on the East & Northwestern coast for this Recovery Plan. In 1985 the Trust initiated Turtle Patrols @ Matura beach as part of our outreach environmental education programme for Secondary school students.
In 1989, the PAPWFT introduced education on Climate Change in the Trust’s school & community programmes.
In 1993, the PAPWFT successfully lobbied the Government of T&T to accede to the Ramsar Convention: The Trust presented a paper “Wetland Reserves & Public Awareness @ the 5thRamsar conference of Contracting Parties, Kushiro, Japan, 1993; the first time a West Indian national, a ngo representative and a woman, was invited to do so.
In 2001, assisted by SOHOM (Spouses of the Heads of Missions) the Trust again, in another FIRST for our Country, provided a boardwalk around the Trust’s main breeding lake for the physically challenged and the elderly, our too often forgotten ones. We designed and we implement a special Environmental Therapy Programme for these people with special needs; including the mentally challenged, recovering addicts, battered women as well as the hearing and sight impaired. We open up a world of peace, beauty and education to people who normally would not be able to participate. Indeed my friends, the Blind do see @ the PaPWFT.
The list goes on and on. We have many other “FIRSTS” under our belts; like the creation in 1984 of T&T’s and the region’s FIRST truly interpretive trail for awareness & education of the value of our forests and their links to wetlands and the linkages with all LIFE. The trail was cut, big trees planted with the help of our Regiment, Coastguard and Forestry; signage and pictures were then added. Today, the trail is also up kept with the help of some of our Directors, here with us today, thank you.
And another interesting first was in 1987 and our journey to Toco with TTT (T&T Television) out on such a distant location for their first time, to film the work that we had been doing for months with the Scouts & Guides & the Community to clean-up the beaches and the public areas, restore the Toco Lighthouse and the environs. We had also been going to the schools in the area weekly on an Environmental Awareness & Education Programme.
Wonderful, factual stories, too long and too many to tell today; but suffice it to say, good satisfying memories.
Daily, as a part of our aviculture, research, breeding and release programmes, we bring back to T&T’s natural environment our endangered wetland species; which are our heritage.
We continue and will continue doing as we have done through the years; to promote the wise use of our Natural Resources as this is linked to the social & economic well-being of people; to raise awareness that all life is linked and interdependent; to research, breed and release, thousands of our birds back into their natural habitats here in Trinidad & Tobago, while at the same time educating our children and some adults that we must have pride in our Country and ourselves and to adopt the Trust’s Motto
“TO KNOW IS TO LOVE TO LOVE IS TO PRESERVE”
MOLLY R. GASKIN is an environmental activist, locally and internationally known for her commitment and achievements in the field of natural resource management, public awareness and environmental education. A prolific writer; her environmental works have been published locally, regionally and internationally, and in 1988 her ‘Creed of Nature’ was published and distributed to schools and youth groups throughout Trinidad and Tobago. She has earned the respect and liking of her colleagues and professionals in the public and private sectors. As an artist, she developed photography skills and in 1977, put together the first environmental audio- visual programme, which she personally took to schools and community groups throughout the country, introducing the concept of environmental education to Trinidad and Tobago. She exhibited the first collection of wildlife photographs in Trinidad and Tobago at Art Creators, St. Ann’s in 1982 and 1985, introducing the concept of ‘Nature Photography’ as an ‘Art’, with all
proceeds going to The Pointe-a-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust, which she has developed through the years.
In 1983 as a member of WIDECAST, (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network), she designed and co-authored Trinidad and Tobago’s first Sea-Turtle Recovery Plan, and conducted regular weekly patrols for research, information and tagging at Matura Beach and produced a comprehensive book on Sea Turtles. In 1987 Molly R. Gaskin was awarded the Hummingbird Gold Medal for “loyal and devoted service” to her country. Together with her colleague Karilyn Shephard, she co-authored, designed and produced in 1993, the first complete Environmental Education books for Trinidad and Tobago schools- “A Collection of Occasional papers on the Environment”, “Wonders of Wetlands- A Teacher’s pack” and an Environmental Education Poster Colouring Book for Primary schools. Other publications: “Sea Turtles and their Habitats, Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean”, “Medicinal plants of The Pointe-a- Pierre Wildfowl Trust” and Medicinal plants of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean”. Also produced are conservation posters for schools: “Energy flow in a mangrove swamp”, “Wetlands Birds of Trinidad and Tobago-1 and 2” and “The Importance of Wetlands, Linkages and Values”. In 1994, Molly R. Gaskin was enrolled in the United Nations Environment Programme “Global 500” Roll of Honor in London, UK., and in 1997 she was also selected as one of twenty- five (25) “Exceptional women leaders from around the world for outstanding effort and dedication to the environment”, by The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) celebrating UNEP’s 25th Anniversary “EYES ON THE ENVIRONMENT- 25 Women Leaders in Action”. At the 1994 RAMSAR Conference of Parties in Kushiro, Japan, Molly R. Gaskin presented a paper on “Environmental Education and Public
Awareness at The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust in Trinidad”, to the 2000 delegates. Together with Karilyn Shephard, Molly continues her hands-on day to day involvement with all aspects of the Trust’s work and as part of her belief and
commitment, lobbies for improved environmental policies and the wise use of T&T’s natural habitats.
KARILYN G.D SHEPHARD has long had a passion for and commitment to the natural environment. She joined Molly R. Gaskin and The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust in the early 1980’s and has worked for the conservation of Trinidad and Tobago’s natural environment and the introduction of environmental education in schools travelling all over Trinidad and Tobago with audio visual equipment and other material. Together with Trust President Molly R. Gaskin and as members of WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network) she designed and co-authored Trinidad and Tobago’s first Sea Turtle Recovery Plan, conducting weekly patrols at Matura Beach for research and tagging. She co-designed and edited amongst many other Trust’s publications, Trinidad and Tobago’s only comprehensive book on Sea Turtles & Their Habitats, T&T and the Caribbean, and a local comprehensive teachers’ pack on wetlands “Wonders of Wetlands”. Karilyn also co-ordinated and implemented the visit of the Greenpeace sailing vessel “Rainbow Warrior” to T&T to protest nuclear shipments through the Caribbean. From 1993-1999, she served on the Board of CCA (Caribbean Conservation Association), our regional NGO based in Barbados and from 1999 to 2002 as Vice President of the Association. Karilyn Shephard served on the Board of Governers of the Institute of Marine Affairs and the cabinet appointed National Wetlands Committee. She co-manages The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust together with its successful breeding and release
programmes for T&T’s five species of endangered waterfowl, the country’s threatened national bird, the Scarlet Ibis and its once locally extirpated Blue and Gold Macaw. Karilyn Shephard represented The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust at numerous environmental meetings, workshop conferences and symposia at home and around the world. Together with Molly R. Gaskin, she continues her hands-on day to day involvement with all aspects of the Trust’s work and as part of her belief and commitment, lobbies for improved environmental policies and the wise use of T&T’s natural habitats.